Thursday, November 17, 2005

Google Sitemaps - updated

.. or how much new things can Google introduce in a week.

Well, this week we saw the surprising launch of Google Analytics. I have already expressed my love for that.

Then there was the launch of the anticipated Google Base. Other than just creating my own entry I haven't really had too much time with it to write a comment.

And now I have found out some changes to Google Sitemaps!

Some time ago I created a couple of posts (1, 2 & 3) about the experiment I did with Google Sitemaps on my site. I mentioned that there were some benefits. Most important one:

a website master has the possibility to view reports on the last crawl results. This can be achieved by placing an html file with a name provided by Google to verify that you can manage the site. Google then provides you with a list of failed pages. Pages that no longer exist or have another error.
Always good to find out some missed missing links.

And now there is more. There are more reasons to use Google Sitemaps.

What extras are hidden in the Google Sitemaps console?

  • The most popular queries that your Website shows up for.
  • The top queries from which you get click throughs.
  • Crawl statistics: Pages successfully crawled, pages blocked by robots.txt, pages that generated HTTP errors or were unreachable.
  • The PageRank distribution within your site.
  • Various indexing stats (pages indexed, etc.)

If you, for a completely obscure reason, do not wish to create a Google Sitemap, you can rest assured. You do not need to have Google Sitemap to be able to use this functionality. All you have to do is create an empty HTML file and upload to your site to verify that you own the site. And tada you start leveraging the benefits. For free.

This is an absolutely awesome troubleshooting tool for all webmasters. Something that the other search engines will copy soon, I hope. And then maybe I will spend more time working on improving my position with them.